Heroin Overdose Symptoms

Heroin Signs and Symptoms

Home > Addiction > Heroin Addiction > Heroin Signs and Symptoms

Facts about Heroin Overdose

Heroin, one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets, can have extreme effects on the body and mind. Since heroin is a very addictive opioid, smoking, snorting or injecting heroin can result in heroin addiction and can cause a multitude of unwanted side effects over the short and long term.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016 about 948,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year, that number that has been on the rise since 2007. This trend appears to be driven largely by young adults aged 18–25 among whom there have been the greatest increases.

Heroin has immediate effects (within minutes) on the body and mind when it enters into the bloodstream and overdose can be deadly and withdrawals can be excruciating.



Heroin Overdose

Overdosing on heroin can be extremely life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. The extent of the overdose depends on the amount and purity of heroin used, other consumed substances, and the individual’s age and weight.

Heroin overdose can be completely unexpected as individuals can overdose during their first time or never overdose at all as a lifelong user; hence why this is such a dangerous illegal substance.

The following are signs and symptoms of heroin overdose:

  • Bluish lips, nails or extremities
  • Shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Delirium or confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Low blood pressure

Treating Heroin Overdose

Heroin overdose can be deadly but there is an antidote that can be administered via intranasal or injection. Naloxone is an opioid receptor blocker and is used to prevent heroin and all opioids overdose. Naloxone prevents heroin from binding to its receptors in the brain, therefore causing immediate physical withdrawals.

An individual can be in and out of consciousness and can immediately experience painful withdrawal within seconds after naloxone is administered. Naloxone can be prescribed to patients and their families who are using prescription opioids, who are at risk of withdrawal or who have an active history of heroin use.

Naloxone is also widely administered by EMS workers and in hospitals. Many governments and privately funded agencies are working diligently to educate the public on the proper use of naloxone and the importance it can have on saving lives from a heroin overdose. Use of naloxone may cause symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including:

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or irritable
  • Body aches
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • Diarrhea, stomach pain, or nausea
  • Fever, chills, or goosebumps
  • Sneezing or runny nose in the absence of a cold


Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Intoxication

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Constricted pupils (meiosis)
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory depression (shallow and short breathing)
  • Track marks on skin or fresh puncture wounds
  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent nose bleeds (if heroin is snorted)

 

24 Hours Admissions Helpline

 

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

  • Stealing money to pay for heroin
  • Asking to borrow money from a family member or friend to pay for heroin
  • Cashing out retirement accounts or life savings to pay for heroin
  • Being unable to pay rent or a mortgage, leading to evictions and foreclosures
  • Lose a job because of stealing money from company funds to purchase heroin
  • Going bankrupt
  • Avoiding loved ones
  • Forgetting important family responsibilities, like picking up a child from school
  • Becoming domestically violent with children or romantic partners
  • Lying to loved ones constantly to avoid being caught using heroin
  • Loss of appetite and not eating
  • Losing a significant amount of weight
  • Having unexpected mood changes
  • Faking pain-related emergencies or hurting themselves intentionally so they can receive pain medication
  • Having an excess of pill bottles and prescription pads in their home or in their vicinity
  • Wearing long sleeves in the summer or warm climates to hide track marks

Medical Complications Associated with Heroin Use

Heroin can have long-lasting effects on almost every organ in the body and the longer the user abuses this illegal opioid, the more medical complication he/she can suffer.

  • Brain: Overtime heroin changes the way neurons in the brain fire and can also have a huge impact on the brain’s structure and neuronal balance resulting in slow memory, poor executive functioning, erratic behavior, poor decision-making, and slower reaction times.
  • Skin: Although heroin is usually injected into the veins, overtime the veins can collapse forcing the user to inject heroin under the skin, which can easily result in severe skin infections and abscesses, which may require intravenous antibiotics and hospitalizations.
  • Lung: Individuals who smoke heroin have a high risk of developing pneumonia and other lung infections.
  • Psychological: Heroin can result in depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
  • Bloodborne Diseases: Sharing needles can result in bloodborne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
  • Genitourinary: Heroin can result in menstrual abnormalities, sexual dysfunction, and spontaneous abortion.
  • Cardiac: Injecting heroin can lead to a heart infection known as endocarditis, which can be deadly and requires hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.

Heroin Addiction / Heroin Signs and Symptoms Next:

Heroin Withdrawal
24/7 ADMISSIONS HELPLINE
Get Help Now
24/7 ADMISSIONS HELPLINE

Insurance Coverage

AKUA Mind and Body understands the financial burdens that addiction and mental health treatment can have on an individual and their family. As a result, AKUA works closely with most HMO, EPO and PPO insurance plans including AmeriHealth, Humana, Allcare Health, Highmark, UPMC Health Plan, and are In-Network with Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, Health Net, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Magellen, HMC Health Works, Tricare, Western Health Advantage, Prime, Multi Plan, Triwest.

In-Network With

Anthem Insurance
Aetna Insurance
Cigna Insurance
health net
Beacon Health Option
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Magellan Health Services
HMC Health Works
Tricare
western health advantage
prime-health
Multiplan Insurance
Sharp
Molina
Tribal Care
 
 

Most PPO Policies Accepted

Optum Insurance
Humana Insurance
United-healthcare Insurance
Ameri-health Insurance
HighMark
UPMC Health Plan
Allcare Insurance
Oscar
Pacificare
Morial Care
Chipa
 
 

Why AKUA?

The specialists at AKUA Drug treatment Newport Beach believe in treating the individual as a whole, rather than treating the diagnosis. Each client has unique treatment timeline involving a collaborative effort from every member of the treatment team.

Maybe you are a 26-year-old female who is struggling with body dissatisfaction fueled by depression, which has developed into a cocaine addiction. Maybe you are a 45-year-old male working in corporate America, drinking excessively to cope with your anxiety despite your loving family.

No matter who you are and what your story is, AKUA Mind and Body believes in tailoring their treatment program to fit your needs so you can live a healthy and fulfilling life, free from addictive substances and the pain of underlying disorders.

Contact AKUA for a Confidential Assessment

Free
You’ll be connected with one of our friendly Admissions Counselors who will verify your insurance, completely free of cost!
Simple
We ensure that beginning the road to recovery is hassle free. Simply start the process by calling or chatting with one of our Admissions Counselors, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Confidential
We are conscientious about your privacy and never share confidential information with anyone else without your consent.
24/7 Admissions Helpline